Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lucky me!

Yesterday my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap package arrived in the mail. And I couldn't be more excited as I opened it! So many wonderful presents inside from the talented and generous Jodie of Persimmon + Pear! She obviously put so much thought into the quilts she made - yes quilts! - and all the extras. It was all so me!

Here's everything that was in the giant box. So many goodies! A mini quilt, mug rug, patchwork zippered pouch and a whole bunch of treats tucked inside. Wow, wow, WOW!

How awesome is this mini with those colourful little houses. You just can't go wrong with a Thimble Blossoms pattern! She fussycut cute details, like the wee bunny in one doorway as well as a flower. And she made it with so many of my favourite fabrics and designers. Then there's that awesome mug rug with a kitty portrait that looks just like one of my Siamese cats!

Trying to get a photo of Ariel with the mug rug proved tricky, especially with the bow around her neck. But you can see the uncanny resemblance.

I feel so incredibly lucky and spoiled with this special package. Thanks so much Jodie!

Here's the mini I sent to my partner, which has not yet arrived at its new home:

This swap was a bit of a challenge. She said she liked earth tones first for fabric likes, along with blue. She didn't have a favourite fabric designer and very little posted on IG. Hmm. I knew I wanted to make the Fireworks pattern by Canoe Ridge Creations, so the design was settled. But what about the fabric? Earth tones is not really in my wheelhouse - or stash. But then I found four prints in lovely soft earthy hues and predominantly blue that I've been holding onto forever. I kept pulling them out, but never thought I had a project worthy of it. At last! By coincidence I recently bought this brown/grey polka dot that went perfectly.

As always, I was drawn to dense straight-line quilting. I was gonna keep it minimal, but I just can't help myself. I start with a few lines and just keep going - for hours and spools later.

The quilting really shows up well on the back, even though the thread colour blends into the fabric.

Here's the entire back, with little pockets to hang it if she wants and a label.

The labels are tough for me. My writing is not normally legible, so writing on fabric neatly takes me forever! This Cotton + Steel print sure was handy for keeping things straight. As I was stitching it on though, I wondered why the heck I made such a huge label! Live and learn, ladies.

I can't wait for it to arrive. I sure hope she likes it! She made many nice comments on the fabric and quilting and label as I posted sneak peeks. In the package I also included three fat quarters, a jumbo bag of Smarties (she's in the States, so no Smarties there!) and a card for the donation I made to the local humane society, as the swap host Schnitzel and Boo urged us to do.

And finally a gratuitous detail shot:

My first bee!

Another quilting adventure for me! I recently joined my first quilting bee and, jumping right in, I'm also a group leader. We're just getting started on the year-long bee, but already it's so much fun! It's being organized by the lovely and talented Gnome Angel and Blossom Heart Quilts. Even if you're not a part of the bee, you can still join in the fun and make the blocks. Two block tutorials will be shared every month on Blossom Heart Quilt's blog - one known, and one a mystery by a popular designer or quilter.

The first January block is Tic Tac Toe - and that's the the first Queen Bee for my swarm chose. I made a practice block because I was amazed to find I just didn't have anything in my stash, no matter how much I shuffled through there, to suit the Queen Bee's fabric choices. How is that even possible?! So I used my cherished bundle of Leah Duncan's Meadow, with a grand plan that may or may not come to fruition, to make every block. Cuz you know, I don't have enough quilting projects!

It's a simple block that goes together easily, with a little attention paid to those pesky points. I love how it turned out and now I'm eager to make one for February's Queen Bee.

I'm having fun as a group leader and even have my own IG hashtag - #beehiveswarmjohanna. I made a cute logo as well, with the most adorable - and perfect for a quilting bee - Heather Ross print.

I just started a Facebook group for my swarm and we're having lots of fun on there getting to know each other and sharing our passion for quilting and fabric. So you should think about joining the fun, too, by making at least a few of the blocks. Don't forget the bee's hashtag when you post on IG - #thebeehivequilts!

The Bee Hive